A climate risk analysis by global investor network FAIRR warns that climate-related costs could “wipe out” profits for half of the world’s largest livestock companies unless new strategies are urgently adopted. FAIRR’s Climate Risk Tool estimates a total decrease in earnings before tax of $23.7bn in 2030 compared to 2020 levels for 40 of the world’s largest livestock producers, which would push 20 of those producers into net operating losses. Climate-related cost increases for livestock companies will come from higher feed prices and expected carbon taxes. Potential price hikes for millions of customers and consumers could result from these companies supplying the bulk of the world’s animal protein.
Cultivated meat has the potential to help the meat industry face climate change and keep profits by providing a sustainable alternative to traditional meat production. Cultivated meat is produced by growing animal cells in a lab, eliminating the need for raising and slaughtering animals. This process has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and water consumption associated with traditional meat production.
Moreover, cultivated meat can offer a consistent and predictable supply of meat that is not subject to the risks associated with climate change, such as droughts, floods, and extreme weather events. Additionally, cultivated meat could potentially offer cost savings as it requires fewer resources to produce than traditional meat.
Some large meat producers have already invested in the development of cultivated meat, recognizing the potential benefits for both the environment and their bottom line. By embracing this technology, meat companies can diversify their product offerings, reduce their environmental impact, and potentially appeal to a growing consumer base interested in sustainable and ethical food choices.